No two couples have an identical process when working through the process of divorce. In some cases, a person will file for legal separation before ultimately seeking divorce. At other times, couples will immediately proceed to divorce and settle in quick fashion. Actor Dennis Quaid and his wife of eight years Kimberly Buffington, formerly of Austin, Texas, chose the former option.
Last fall, Buffington filed for legal separation, which was seen as an attempt to repair her marriage with Quaid. However, it wasn’t long before Quaid officially filed divorce to complete the couple’s split. Most recently, Quaid purchased a home for his two children and wife to live in. This move comes in addition to his efforts to obtain joint custody of both young kids.
Before the couple finalizes their divorce, they will have a number of questions to answer beyond custody, including spousal support and asset division. Reports indicate that Buffington will be able to live in the newly purchased home with the couple’s children until they both turn 18, which is a term of the proposed divorce settlement.
Although Quaid and Buffington ultimately opted for divorce, legal separation is a choice that may be an option that may best some couples’ needs. When couples believe there is a chance they might get back together, they can separate their assets and property while remaining legally married. In the event they eventually opt for divorce, the process may be made less complicated by the fact that couples have already formally separated. The primary difference, however, is that they are no longer legally married in the eyes of the state.
Source: Daily Mail, “Dennis Quaid buys his wife a multi-million dollar house even though they are getting divorced,” Chelsea White, March 2, 2013
To find out more about legal separations and divorce in Texas, please visit our Austin family law page.